Author Archives: happytraveler

Itinerary – First 4 Months


July 24

Japan (flight booked!) (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima)

Aug 3

South Korea (Seoul)

Aug 10

Chinas (Beijing, Xi’an, Huangshan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei)

Sep 7

Vietnam (Hanoi, HCMC/Saigon, Danang for 4-6 weeks to work at EMW Dental Clinic)

Oct 15

Cambodia (Siem Riep, Angkor Wat)

Oct 19

Thailand (Bangkok, Chaiaing Mai, Phuket)

Dec 1

Indonesia (Bali)

Jan 1


Jan 1 (alt)

Australia   (rethinking Australia / New Zealand…pretty far away)

Jan 21


Mar 1

Kenya / Tanzania

Apr 1

South Africa

Apr 15


May 7

Spain / Portugal

Jun 1 – July 30

Scandanavia and East Europe

So, who wants to join me for what part? 🙂

Map – Beta Itinerary

Here’s my first shot at planning this journey.


To add a bit of detail the a map, here are the places I feel intrigued by…

Japan – most interested in Tokyo and Kyoto and the temples there. I’ve heard that there is a railpass that is a Good Deal if you buy it outside the country. I also want to visit Hiroshima, for historical reasons.

Korea – friend of mine is the Dean of a business school in Seoul, so hopefully I can visit him and maybe teach a class or two.

China – where to start? Really…I’m asking…where to start??? I’m thinking Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Hong Kong for the cities.

Vietnam – I want to do a month here teaching through International Volunteers HQ. Probably spend most of my time in Hanoi, but I also want to travel down the country to Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. Something about the Vietnam War and how societies and nature heals draws me to want to spend time here.

Cambodia – Still studying. All I can think of is Angkor Wat and some of the temple scenes from the movie Samsara.
Thailand – I’ve heard of amazing tropical bungaloes along the coast, where I can live and for very little money. Who knows something about this?

Philippines – still studying.

New Zealand and Australia – not really sure what I’ll do here, so I’m wide open! I’d like to do some diving in the Great Barrier Reef.

India – another month planned here to teach and hopefully do work with some of my favorite nonprofits – Blue Planet Network and Fascinated with the history of the founding of Buddhism, so would like to see that. Also, I’ve heard that people sometimes go to India to do a retreat for a few weeks and “get enlightened”. I’m interested in that too.

Kenya/Tanzania/Rwanda – another month of teaching with IVHQ. Want to do a photo safari, to see these animals that are amazing and threatened. Definitely want to take an excursion into Rwanda to see the gorillas – in as unobtrusive and respectful way as I can.

South Africa – just had a great conversation with a fascinating man who leads a school in South Africa for boys, and then places them in colleges in the U.S. More info as it comes available!

Morrocco – still studying, but I love the Middle East and I just don’t want to go there right now – seems like there are other parts of the world that are less…chaotic. However, Morrocco seems calm enough!

At this point in the trip, I’m going to do some purely pleasurable touring through Europe – starting with Spain and Portugal, but making a bee line for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Really interested in taking a Baltic cruise to include St. Petersburg and fjords!

I’m also drawn to a few other places that didn’t make my first iteration:

Peru – To continue working with the community I taught in last time. Lidia and her organization Tarpuy Sonqo have founded an English school that I want to help with. Thinking maybe a month there. Happy to go back to Machu Picchu if anyone wants, but also want to take a 3 week trip down the Amazon from Iquitos to the Atlantic.

Galapagos off Ecuador – I mean, why not?   Gotta find a boat named the HMS Beagle, of course.

Singapore – Still studying. I’ve always been fascinated with the way the society is so organized (10 lashes for throwing gum on the ground!), which seems so different from the U.S. I’ve had some students from Singapore and I’m curious how they find personal happiness within a society that we in the U.S. might call repressive.

Bhutan – Bhutan has the worlds first Gross Happiness Index, and I want to see the people and country that thinks this is important!

Nepal – Highest mountains in the world.  Ann Arbor native Bob Seger sang about going to Kathmandu.  And the culture, from what I’ve read, is unique being between Tibet and India.

Madagasgar – Still studying.

That’s it! This is the first very post for this blog, and it’s very rough. But I’m excited about getting this going and hopefully persuading a few of my friends to start thinking about joining me!

What can you add to these countries?

What am I really going to regret not doing that is missing on this list?

And….it’s time.

Time for another journey!  Two years ago I spent a couple months in Peru, and had a predictably amazing time.  Now I’m turning my sights to a Round The World Trip starting Summer 2014.

New Friends?

New Friends?

My plan is to do some touring and just looking around, some working or volunteering in places for a month or so, some living in a place for a while, and lots of openness for possibilities that I can’t imagine right now.

And here’s where I’d love your help.  What could I see/do?  Who can I visit?

I like to start off with a theme or two, to help guide me in making choices about what to do, and where to do it.  And I could use your help here too!

For example, three of my themes for Peru were “Adventure, Philanthropy, and Dave 3.0”    Not bad, and they’ll probably be continued, but it seems like a Quest could be fun.  I’ve been influenced by Joseph Campbell and his travel journal, “Sake and Satori”, so I’m thinking one theme could be “Meaning”.  As in, how do people create meaning in the work in the year 2014?  I’m imagining getting to know locals as personally as I can, in going to important cultural events and rituals, in learning histories and seeing how current society carries them to today.

Another theme I’m thinking about is History – visiting places where important events have happened (where the Buddha sat under the tree, Hiroshima, Gandhi’s home, etc.).

Anyway, I would love to hear about more themes, or places, people, and experiences to have.    If you have some ideas, leave a comment here or send me an email!

If you feel intrepid enough to JOIN me for a segment of my journey, let me know that too!  While I do want some alone time, I’ll would love to have a friend or two (or more!) join in the adventure.  Is there a place you’ve wanted to go but don’t want to go alone, or need a motivation to do it?  Go with Dave!

Next……my initial, almost-certain-to-change itinerary!